You are here:

The journey we have been taking helps us prepare for the General Chapter and deepen Mother Frances’ Charism both individually and with the people we meet in our ministries. Our community has witnessed the many ways and the many people to whom God extends the gift of healing.

14 Sr. Beata Nigro and Sr. Elisa Di Lorenzo with friends

Sr. Beata [Nigro], could you tells us about how you experienced God’s healing in your life this past summer?
I was at Casa Sant’Elisabetta, waiting to go to my spiritual exercises. A lady from our parish invited us to a healing prayer vigil at the church in Rivotorto. We decided to go. The church was filled with with people who came from all over Italy. I barely managed to get in. The vigil included prayers of praise and worship, in which we asked God for forgiveness and healing. At the end of the prayer the priest leading this service walked among the pews, carrying the monstrance and blessing people. When he came to me, he placed Jesus in the Eucharist on my head: one hand was supporting the monstrance while the other was resting on my shoulder. While saying the healing prayer, he was praying particularly for me, asking God to heal me from all evil. I could not believe what was happening to me, and I continued to repeat, “Lord, I need this. If you want, you can heal me, but most especially, please heal those who need it.” This experience prepared me for my Franciscan Spiritual Exercises.

Some time later, on August 21, I was vacationing at my family’s place on the Feast of the Madonna del Carmine. To celebrate this occasion there were several times of prayer, including a procession and evening adoration. At the end of the healing and forgiving prayer, the priest passed around the Most Holy Eucharist in the monstrance among the rows of chairs, blessing the faithful and praying for healing. As he passed in front of me in the darkness, he placed the monstrance on my head, asking for my blessing and healing, not only for me, but for my community as well. At that time I remembered the words that Jesus addressed to Mother Frances, “Do you love me more than the others?” I asked God “What do you want me to do?” I felt loved by God and understood anew all the moments of suffering. It seemed like a gift from the Lord.I did not receive a complete healing of my eyesight, but in reality I experienced the healing love of God. And, like many years ago, He calls and asks me to approach the Eucharist as the only way to understand His Will.

Sr. Elisa [Di Lorenzo], can you tell us about what happens on Saturdays with the women who frequent your community and are making a journey of faith in the interest of a new experience?
For three years we have been welcoming a group of women in our parish, with whom we spend an hour doing gymnastics and prayer. It all started half-jokingly. After the carnival party that we organized for the young adults, some women asked us to organize something for them.

7 Fitness group participants

Knowing that my Pilates instructor was available to contribute some initiatives, we began this experience. Since then we meet with this group of “gymnasts” almost every Saturday. I am discovering more and more how liberating this experience is for everybody. The exercise program is simple, yet it allows us to rediscover our body as a gift from God the Creator who, beyond giving us our breath, gives us so many other beautiful things. Through gymnastics we rediscover how perfect we are and how everything is connected in a harmonious way. We are so united with Creation that surrounds us; if we listen to ourselves and listen to Creation, we will discover God’s presence in and around us. We lack nothing, yet are so distracted and taken up by life’s concerns that we become unaware of ourselves.

Vale Ronchetti, one of the first of Chiara Lubich’s companions, would often say that we are sparks and that we have to set free the light in us, because we are light and, therefore. we have to radiate light. We experience this also after exercising for an hour. Freed from the tensions of the body, we place ourselves before God, listening to His Word, a word that touches our being. It is a Word that heals our wounds, that lifts, frees us from burdens, gives energy, counsels us and makes us become aware of the gift that we are. During one moment of prayer, a woman says: “I had a burden on my shoulders and now I feel light, as if someone had physically lifted this weight.” Another says: “Coming here means taking some time to take care of myself; I thank you for this opportunity.” And: “It would be nice to always feel in such close dialogue with God.” Finally: “How nice it is to come together as women and share moments just for us that allow us to start anew and continue to live our everyday lives.”

I discover how “little” it takes to set free the healing energy of Christ: you only have to trust and allow the Light that is inside you, which nobody can take away from you to come out, setting it free so that it illuminates other hearts and other bodies.

8Sr. Francesca [Vitulano], with your community, you have been witness to a healing event triggered by the Word of God. Could you tell us what happened?
As we started our activities for 2012/2013, the group of “gymnasts” from Bisconte was one of them. For two years now we get together weekly for one hour of gymnastics. At the end we leave five minutes for prayer so that we can experience how much our body is an instrument of God’s love for us and for those who are near us. We close the meeting with prayer and reflect on the passage of the bent over woman that we had reflected on with Sr. Jeanne during our June Assembly. We perform a gesture at the end of the Gospel reading: while sitting in a circle, we pass around the Bible, as the foundation of our relationship with God. We place it on top of our heads and say a prayer of blessing and healing for the person on whose head the Bible is resting. This was a powerful and rich moment, the presence of God among us was tangible. Two of the women felt that the Lord was touching their hearts and lives, healing them from the negative and painful things they were experiencing. God had not abandoned them but was there, next to them, to support and encourage them.

10

Sr. Vincenzina [Raimondo], what happened this year during the Feast of Mother Frances?
As usual we celebrated the Anniversary of Mother Frances with our friends and people from the parish. The first part of the Feast was spent in church for a time of prayer. In tune with the theme, “To set free the healing energy of Christ," the Gospel passage we chose was the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage. We developed our reflection through the use of two gestures: the touching of Jesus’ garment by the woman, and Jesus’ sensitivity in letting himself be touched. To make explicit the passage in which Jesus says, “Who touched me? I felt the power leaving me,” we thought about emphasizing the symbol of the cloak touched by the woman, and we asked those present to imitate her faith. Among all the people who touched the cloak, at the end some shared their experience and expressed their emotions.

A gentleman who attended upon the insistence of his wife thought he was not willing to let himself get involved. After the explanation of the gesture, he was the first to step up to touch the cloak. He said he felt an interior force that moved him to ask, with faith, to be healed from the fear to undergo a surgical procedure, for which he was scheduled in the next few days. His wife was surprised because she had noticed that her husband was experiencing some change. Another man said he had felt inside the need to surrender himself to God’s will: the next day he would be taking his daughter for a medical consultation. The result of this meeting was greatly worrying him. He feared a devastating reaction from the still adolescent daughter. “After this moment of prayer,” he said, “I fear nothing; whatever the outcome is, I feel I can accept it as God’s will.” In each of these men I saw resources being freed. Without a doubt, there have been generated new energies to better face the fatigue and trials of life.

9

As an Associate, Sebastiano Passeri finds himself often sharing part of his time volunteering in a variety of ministries. Here he shares personally about what happens in his life when he finds himself close to brothers and sisters who are plagued by suffering:

“Being Christian, I always trust in God even in the moments of trial. When it happens that I am staying close and taking care of the disabled or the mentally ill, I feel I am receiving a great gift. They are the ones who convey to me the healing energy of Christ. I feel I am living anew, as it happened to the Samaritan in the Gospel passage.”